US Classic – Senior Live Blog

Start list:

Our pre-meet withdrawals belong to Malabuyo and Nguyen, neither of whom appeared at podium training. Malabuyo has a fractured tibia, and it’s just the worst. Shania Adams is also a full scratch now.

It appears from the live scores Trinity Thomas is not doing vault and floor (as expected) and that Skinner is not doing bars. Also possibly no all-around from Sunisa Lee.

The competition is on the Olympic Channel on TV and streaming on the Olympic Channel website. Typically, the website is the better choice because if history is any guide, they don’t go to commercial and you can sometimes catch routines from the non-famouses in the background or something. Or hot mic moments.

Also apparently 6:30 ET is People for 7:00 ET. I see. Why tell everyone 6:30 ET if it’s not? It’s not even like you have a pre-game show you want to trick people into watching or anything…

We’ll have to see how helpful they are in routine showing. I’m already prepared to miss Jones first up on floor because she’ll be at the same time as McCusker on beam.

For those asking, yes, I have had to provide a cable log in to access the online stream.

Well, it already sounded like the announcer called her “Abigael Penis” so it’s going to be that kind of day.

Anthem done. Rotating to events now.

News update: Simone good.

Tanith, Nastia, and Tim appropriately dressed like professional adults now instead of Radioshack employees. Tim looks like he would prefer to be at Radioshack.

Rotation 1

Maggie is closer to the beam than Riley. Maggie is one inch away from stepping in and doing the routine herself.

McCusker – BB – Please let’s legistlate the hitch in Riley’s voice – wolf truple to wolf double, not trouble with those turns – split leap to aerial to straddle jump, smoothly done and connected – bhs bhs loso, just a small adjustment – switch to switch 1/2 to swing down – GREAT – side aerial to split jump to back tuck, nailed – bhs bhs double tuck, step back.


Tim accidentally said “dickmount” instead of dismount, so this competition has already delivered.

14.450 for Finnegan for a DTY. Good score.

LOVING all the waiting we’re seeing!

Hurd – FX – huge DLO, nice height and position, small shuffle, good – front lay to front 2/1, very well controlled – switch ring to split leap 1.5, just around – double tuck, RIGHT to the edge of the floor but stuck it so it was fine – LOL, you better stick – There is so much pain of a nation here and I’m in favor – double pike, a little short with a hop.

Not the most difficulty she can do, but comfortably completed. A good progress point.

15.100 for McCusker on beam. BUT DAMN.

Lee – UB – NABS TO PAK, excellent -to Maloney to Bhardwaj, fab – toe shap 1/2 – giant 1.5 to piked Jaeger and she got it – FTDT, small hop, actually a couple small hops. Great.

Hit Amanar from Skinner for 14.900. OK now.

Faith Torrez did a 6.1 D on beam and got 14.050 for it.

14.700 for Wong on a DTY.

14.650 for Sunisa on bars.

13.400 for Hurd. Just a 5.1 D score.

Biles – UB – Weiler 1/2 to Maloney to tkatchev – hit – toe full a little ragged – into piked tkatchev to Pak – hit – toe Shap 1/2, good – a couple hs – double double dismount, just a tad short with a hop.

Simone doing Simone. Some ragged moments, like the toe full, a couple casts, some legs, but a big hit obviously.

Blakely – FX – “in her final moments” – full in first pass, bounce back, keeps it in bounds – switch ring – comfortable split full – falls out of Memmel turn a bit – double Arabian, deepish with a lunge forward – double pike, hit – double tuck is pretty short, lunge

We see a background hit piked Jaeger for Jordan Chiles on bars.

14.450 for Simone on bars.

12.750 for Carey on beam, presumed fall.

McCallum – BB – candle mount – fine – lowers from handstand a little early for my taste – wolf triple, very smooth – same on the wolf double – side jump split 1/2, secure – side aerial to loso loso, hit and very well done to hit because her foot was a little off halfway through, some leg form issues – aerial to split to bhs, some split lack of 180 – L turn with a little correction – double tuck, step back

13.750 on bars for Chiles, 5.5 D score

14.100 for McCallum on beam.

Note that these E scores on beam are way higher than would be expected at a real meet, so keep that in mind.

Perea – BB – wolf triple to wolf double, not quite as smooth as McCallum or McCusker but hit – back full, secure, just a little chest down and staggered – split position is perfection – off on her loso series – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, slow in combination but good elements – aerial to split to bhs, nicely done – split leap to side somi, solid – small adjustment on side jump – 2/1, hop back. Some really strong moments in there despite the miss.

So McCusker is going to be your leader after the first rotation with that gigantic 15.100 on beam. Then we’ve got Skinner and Wong from vault, then Sunisa and Simone from bars.

McCusker the star of that rotation, competing like the training we’ve seen from her.

Skinner’s Amanar had a crossover step Shawn Johnson-style but otherwise strong. Much better than anything we saw in PT.

That’s KFC Yum Center to you, Tanith.

Hurd – VT – strong DTY, a little crunched and a little hop to the side, but a solid one

Morgan Vault Run Face is my favorite book.

14.500 DTY for Hurd.

Thomas – UB – weiler 1/2 to toe full to toe shap to clear hip to tkatchev to pak – A MILE better than PT, totally connected, minimal hesitation – toe shap 1/2, strong – DLO, small hop back.

Our girl is doing fine.

Jones – VT – huge DTY as always – a larger bounce back than she would have wanted – great position in the air – chest up.

14.200 for bars for Thomas. Excellent score.

Carey – FX – Moors, and she hit it – small bounce back, still some knees but improving on the shape a lot – a heel drop toward the end of her double L but close – DLO 1/1 and basically stuck it – switch 1/1, not quite, not bad – double double, two small steps back -a fake-out flare as choreography –  front tuck through to double tuck, bounce back –

Very strong set.

Wong – UB – inbar to inabar Shap to pak to Stalder shap 1/2, excellent – one short hs – inbar 1/2 to Jaeger – cast 1/2, a bit late – toe full is extremely late – DLO, very pretty, kind of short, lunge forward

Looks like we’re not seeing McCallum on FX – in the distance – double double (?) short with a lunge forward – front lay to front 2/1 to front tuck, a little hoppy – switch 1/2 – gets around a wolf triple – cut to a fun shot of Jade Carey watching her

14.250 on FX for Carey. 6.1 D score

Biles – BB – triple wolf turn, fine, just a tad of hesitation – bhs loso loso series, a little tight but holds the landing without much of a check – switch to switch 1/2, pause before back pike to break connection – side aerial, secure – split 1/2 from side, solid – aerial to split to straddle, better connected – full in – excellent – nearly stuck, good chest up, fab dismount.

Some moments of a bit of tightness on a couple acro element landings, but she looks ready and solid through the first two events, the bad ones, the hard ones. Now she gets vault and floor.

Chiles – BB – full turn, smooth – bhs loso loso, super solid – straddle jump 1/2 from side position, strong – aerial to straddle to wolf, good – side aerial, comfortable – switch – side somi, just a bit of an arm wave – double pike, chest way down but a secure landing.

Wow. That was the most secure beam routine I’ve ever seen from Chiles. Ever.

14.900 for Simone with an 8.7 E score. Somehow that’s “low” according to the trio

McCusker – FX – FTDT, bounce back – punch front 2/1 to front tuck pretty – split leap 1/1, well hit position – double pike, a little short but adjusts with only a very small foot slide –  pulls her wolf around, got a little slow toward the end – switch 1/1, no issue – double tuck, small hop.

Through two events, this is a much less YUCK of a US Classic than usual.

We’re going back to see McCallum, so that’s nice.

It was a double double that she landed super short on with a lunge – front lay to front 2/1 to front tuck, shuffle forward out of it – hey! I didn’t pretty good identifying the skills in this routine from 850 miles away! Switch 1/2 – really good full in, secure – Also strong on the double tuck, good work after that opening pass.

14.250 and an 8.450 E is BONKERS HIGH for that first pass.

Simone moves ahead of McCusker after 2 events as expected. Lee is currently 3rd but she’s done for the night, so it’s essentially Wong then McCallum in the standings.

Tom Forster is here with the team delivering solid FML face.

Good job misspelling his name on the graphic, friends.

“Don’t discount the American girl.” BARF.

Rotation 3

Carey – VT – Goes for the Cheng first, not the Amanar – solid move and a solid landing – lots of piking down but a really secure landing, small step.

14.900 for that. Same as Skinner for her Amanar.

Carey – VT  2 – Just the DTY – easy for her to complete – larger bounce back – we saw her miss that Amanar in PT, so makes sense.

Only two people doing bars in this rotation.

Hurd – UB – inbar shap to stalder full to tkatchev, good – small hesitation on hs – Ricna to Pak, good – pulls abck another hs on low bar – shoot to high – toe 1/2 to front giant 1/2 – toe full to FTDT, stuck landing. Exceptionally clean. A couple handstand issues but neither large

Eaker – BB – that split ring leap is still going to kill me, not at her talent level – Y spin – aerial to split ring jump to back handsspring, love it – side aerial to loso loso, nailed – split leap (and a real one) to side somi, small lean – switch ring connection to bhs Korbut, good speed in combo – great rhythm – switch to switch side, great height – 2.5 with bound forward. Good one.

14.000 for Trinity on a beam routine we didn’t see.

Biles – FX – DLO 1/1 to split, just a tad short on landing DLO 1/1 but didn’t matter in connection – Biles to front layout, takes it entirely OOB by several thousand miles, but still well executed on the new combo – front full to full in, far too easy for her with a bounce in place – switch to split 1.5, bad camera angle, couldn’t see finish position – double double final pass, slide back.

Great routine obviously. The requisite OOB.

14.700 for Hurd on bars. 6.0 D. Very big score.

I really want to know what Morgan was air-quoting about right then and I hope it was full of shade.

Eaker goes 15.400 on beam with a 6.8 D score. YOU KNOW.

6.8 D for Simone on floor and a 15.000

Chiles – FX – leg-up double turn which will be interesting because that wasn’t an extended leg, just tucked – DLO, big power, bounce back – 1.5 through to double tuck, bounce back – switch ring to split leap 1.5, nearly around – front 2/1, pretty solid, small shuffle – switch full, all of these leaps are landed just a little too short for comfort – double pike, short chest down with a stagger – full twist to front support –

Eaker – BB – switch to straddle, gorgeous – bhs loso loso, smoothly done – L turn to full turn – switch ring, not quite with that back leg – aerial to split ring jump, some front leg  position – side aerial, small check – side somi, good, tries to connect to a split 1/2 from side, I wouldn’t give the combination, but good individual skills – 3/1 is quite good, basically all the way around, hop back

Ough. Just 12.550 for Chiles on floor.

13.750 on a hit beam for Skinner that we did not see.

Hollingsworth – FX – full-twisting double tuck instead of the double double, smart, love the position on that element for her – 1.5 through to double tuck, bounce back – also pushing the boundaries of charity with some of those leaps – front tuck through to 2/1, small hop – wolf single – long pause in the corner without choreo – double pike, stuck landing, nice finish

Finnegan – BB – Arabian, well hit, just a little deep, but secure – bhs loso loso, smooth and secure – switch to switch ring – punch front, very deep with a leg-up check – switch ring, back foot and not the most extended ring elements you’ll see – aerial to split to Korbut – smooth – 1.5 dismount taken exactly one inch away from the beam, but hit

14.300 beam score for Wong.

Emily Lee – FX – quite a strong DLO, sure landing, small slide – kept her layout position well – 2.5 to front full, a bit short, step back – switch ring to switch 1/2 – double tuck, bounce back – double pike, bounce – strong routine, impressive.

Skinner beam, we’re seeing in retrospect – candle mount – hit – back handspring to tuck full, very solid, bhs position – side aerial to split to straddle, secure – switch to switch 1/2, pause in connection to back tuck, switch 1/2 is short, the rest is fine – split 1/2 from side position, not quite 180ing – L turn with a wobble, maybe didn’t keep leg up the whole time – double tuck, secure landing. Good hit.

So it’s Simone and then Riley at the top, but McCallum is very close to McCusker now in 3rd. Eaker, Wong, and Hurd very closely packed in the next tier.

Biles – VT – She has posted the Cheng – excellent, great distance and position and height and yada yada yada, small slide back and that’s pretty much it

McCallum – UB – weiler 1/2, a little right – toe full to toe shap, some legs apart – connects into tkatchev – Downie and catches it – connecdtion to a straddled Pak – Toe shap 1/2, nice legs on that one – FTDT, step back. Quite a bit to take in execution there but a hit without major error.

15.650 vault for Simone so that she can get 60 in the AA.

Skinner – FX – This should be interesting – Moors, hit but a step back OOB, not as extended as Carey – front tuck through to full in, slide back – L hop 1/1 – switch leap 1/1, will get deducted for lack of 180 – double double tucked, short with a lunge forward – split leap 1.5 – double wolf turn attempt and it’s hysterical, takes it onto her thigh for the second turn – 1.5 through to nothing, pulls out of that pass with a back tuck.

Looked really tired in the second 1/2 of that routine. Was struggling more on skills that we see her do more comfortably every week at Utah.

14.550 for McCallum. 57.700 in the all-around. I don’t understand how she gets such high E scores.

McCusker – UB – stalder full to toe shap to tkatchev, well completed – Ricna to pak to stalder – toe Shap 1/2, good legs together – very short cast hs – a little deep on dismount but fine, small hop.

Wong – FX – better Dos Santos than in training, deep but still tries the stag out of it – 3.5, gets it around with a large lunge forward – switch ring to leg-up hop 1/1 – 2.5 to front layout, that one gets a little more ragged – nice popa – 3/1 final pass with a lunge back

14.550 for McCusker on bars, which keeps her ahead of McCallum. 57.900 AA score.

Jones – BB – L turn, drops too early – Arabian, but off to the side and grabs the beam – bhs bhs layout to two feet, saves it with a leg-up wobble – side aerial – split 1/2 to straddle 1/2 was the strongest part of the routine – front tuck, slide back – bhs bhs double pike, lunge back

Carey – UB – small arch on first hs  – Ray, with flexed feet – 1/2 to Yezhova, hit – Maloney to Bhardwaj, hit, some legs – doesn’t try to connect out of it – 1/2 turn and shoot to high – giant full – FTDT, near stick. Fine. Good for Jade-type routine.

Kara Eaker went 14.050 on floor. Well now.

Hurd – BB – back full, doesn’t connect out of it, but secure landing – Tim can just shove it, we want the back full to jumps combination – side aerial, solid – bhs loso with a little lean – aerial to split ring jump, hit – switch to straddle to split jump, lovely positions – switch ring, larger check there with a bend at the hips – double pike, hop back. One large break but a good routine and a strong day.

13.800 for Finnegan on floor. She had a big day as well.

We won’t see Jeffrey on floor, so just waiting on Morgan’s score now.

13.900 for Hurd puts her 6th in the AA. Won bars.

This was far stronger than we usually see from a US Classic. Far less of a splatfest.

1. Biles – 60.000
2. McCusker – 57.900
3. McCallum – 57.700
4. Eaker – 56.800
5. Wong – 56.650
6. Hurd – 56.500

Good meets for all six of them. Particularly impressed by Eaker beating Wong and Hurd. Eager to go back and watch those non-beam routines of hers. McCusker confirming what we saw in training from her. Hurd a solid day but definitely downgraded.

Alright, now that we got all that “blah blah great job” out of the way, these E scores you guys. Bars, beam, and floor all had moments of being an easy 0.5 too high.

Also we need to not forget how Thomas broke 14 on both bars and beam.

Now we wait on news of the Pan Ams team. I mean, McCusker, Lee, Hurd, Wong, and Eaker looks pretty good right about now. Sloane Blakely didn’t do enough. Shilese probably didn’t do enough. Finnegan had a good day. Traveling alternate as a reward?

Ugh. Pan Ams team just went by the effing AA standings again.

Team is McCusker, Eaker, Wong, Hurd, Finnegan. Alternate is Jones.

Even though that team needs a third bars score from Sunisa, they didn’t select her, I guess because she didn’t do all four.

Now, she may very well have taken herself out of the running (not doing all four here could indicate that you’re not ready to go to Pan Ams which is 2 seconds from now, though I would definitely take her just for bars and beam even if that’s all she was doing), but we still have the all-around standings used as selection procedures again, which is a cop out.



76 thoughts on “US Classic – Senior Live Blog”

  1. “Why tell everyone 6:30 ET if it’s not? It’s not even like you have a pre-game show you want to trick people into watching or anything…”

    guess they’re trying to boost fencing

    1. I saw the reference to KFC above and couldn’t help thinking it meant – Kathy F-ing Clark (in a nice kinda way that she owns gymnastic commentary).

  2. Can anyone say definitively whether a cable login is needed for this broadcast? Someone in the comments said no yesterday, and I don’t want to drop $35 on Sling if I don’t need to.

      1. Oh I did that years ago. It only works once per email address/account and I am not going to get a new email address for every meet. I’ll pay if it’s required – I’m at that stage of my life now – but I’ll feel silly if I pay and didn’t need to.

      2. I did the 7 day free trial for something last year or the year before. I believe it only works once per account and I’m not going to make a new account for each meet. I can pay if it’s a for-fee broadcast – I’m at that stage of my life now – I just have a hard time telling if it is or isn’t.

    1. A VPN to another country might let you access the YouTube international stream? I can access it from the UK.

    2. Yes we hv to have to pay for the Olympic channel which SUCKS ! why oh why can’t we just watch gymnastics on television. Whyyyy

    3. It is showing on the NBC sports app for fireTV without an Olympic channel subscription.

      (at least in California)

  3. Spencer’s talking about the first rotation starting but I’m still seeing fencing on the stream. Am I missing something?

  4. Can we not discredit Morgan Hurd’s 2017 AA gold medal, pls and thank you Tim

  5. If you don’t have access to a stream USA Gymnastics is getting the videos up on their YouTube channel super quickly tonight.

  6. They just put up the standings after 1 and it looked like Skinner was missing. Are these just the standings for routines they’ve shown?!

    1. I caught that too but standings said for AA. I’m guessing they aren’t including those gymnasts not doing all events. FYI I did see skinner on the you tube feed though.

    2. They also didn’t have Lee in the standings. I think it’s only for gymnasts doing all four events.

  7. Agreed. I really enjoy Tanith. Tim is barely letting Anastasia get a word in. I would be very pleased if it were just Tanith and Nastia.

  8. Okay that’s funny. My phone autocorrected Nastia to her formal name!

  9. My dog is looking thoroughly unimpressed with all the damn wolf turns 🙄

  10. “this is a much less YUCK of a US Classic than usual”
    But the YUCK is why Classics is my favorite US meet!

  11. It’s less of a YUCK US Classic because it’s at the Yum! center.

  12. I call BS on Simone’s floor score. Should’ve been closer to 15.5 even with the .3 OOB. Floor scoring is jacked compared to how they are scoring beam and bars. Is Carol in the building?

  13. although impressed with Skinner on beam, her FX was the most frantic, confusing thing I’ve ever witnessed

    1. I am no Skinner fanatic, but I was excited to see her compete as an elite with the polish and joy she has shown at Utah. I was honestly shocked at how tired she looked midway through that FX. I really hope she is ok.

  14. I like how everyone is always OMG RILEY’S BARS and then Morgan routinely beats her

    1. People go Wow Riley’s bars because she has the ‘wow’ factor on bars. She’s something very special on bars. Whereas Morgan is a strong but pretty standard bars worker. She’s just exceptionally clean, hence her beating Riley, even though she doesn’t have the wow factor that Riley has.

      1. Lolol okay I think we can say Morgan’s a little more than a “pretty standard bars worker.” I’d say Riley’s a little more floaty, and she benefits aesthetically from having longer legs. Otherwise, aside from whatever difficulty deficits they may have on the day, I don’t think too much separates them.

      2. I like Riley but she’s not “very special” on bars, she just has long legs and is a strong bar worker as part of a pretty well-rounded AA program.

        I’d say S. Lee and Perea are “very special” on bars – Lee throws unusual and difficult skills and connections, and Perea has (or had) unusually strong lines and form (like actual extension, not just being slender).

    1. Are you referring to Pan Ams team?

      Simone is too experienced for the Pan Ams team based on the normal US standards. Usually the team that goes to Pan Ams is the US B-team and the majority of the team won’t be considered for the Olympic team the following year.

      1. Actually yes, they did decline to be considered (or at least Grace did).

        Second Anon above, you’re right that Pan Ams is usually the B-team but that’s not the case this year, as you can see from the team chosen.

      2. The US has gone all over the place with its strategy for Pan Am Games.
        2015 – C Team
        2011 – B Team
        2007 – A Team
        2003 – B Team
        1999 – A- Team
        1995 – A Team

        This year would probably be considered an A- team given the absence of Simone and some other top world team contenders like Carey and McCallum but inclusion of other top gymnasts like Hurd and McCusker.

      3. Wow in 1999 the US sent the A team and didn’t even win gold. Canada won the gold – several of the team members went on to stellar careers at UCLA.

        The 1999 Pan Ams was awesome.

      4. I used the term A- team (as in A minus) for the 1999 team, although maybe B+ would be more accurate. The Pan Am team didn’t have world team members Atler, Ray or Maloney, probably considered the top gymnasts in the US at the time but it did include three other gymnasts who ended up making the world team that year – White, Antolin, and Dantzscher, plus others who were contenders such as Thompson. I believe Beckerman was also on the Pan Ams team and she also originally made the world team before having to go down with injury. So it was not the A team like in 2007 when Shawn, Nastia, Bross were sent or 1995 when Miller, Borden, and Chow went. But nor was it a true B team like in 2003 or 2011 when separate teams were named to Pan Ams and Worlds (Memmel ended up being a critical member of both in 2003 but she was originally a second alternate at worlds that year).

        As for not winning gold with that team in 1999 – a few factors in play. Obviously, the US wasn’t the dominant team back then that they are now. They made mistakes on the day while the Canadian team had the meet of their lives on home soil and the teams were close enough that Canada was able to tip the scales.

      5. My most vivid memory of the women’s gymnastics at the 1999 Pan Ams was being about 10-feet away from a coach verbally and physically abusing one of his female athletes – me and another female journalist just stood there mouths agape and in shock at witnessing it.

  15. Trinity kept her college shoulder shake choreo in her beam routine, and I’m HERE for it. Love.

  16. Really unhappy that they are using the straight AA standings to decide teams now. That does not leave you with the strongest possible team, as we clearly saw at Junior Worlds. I agree with Spencer – drop Finnegan for Lee, or if Lee isn’t perceived as ready somehow, then take Trinity for her UB and BB. That said, this team will be fine, even on UB… Wong is one of those gymnasts you can put up anywhere, and can definitely put together a good UB set.

    1. Agreed. Finnegan is a nice gymnast but adds nothing to the Pan Ams team. Lee or Jones would be the better choice in a 5-4-3 format. Forster is proving he is useless in his role.

    2. Trinity didn’t put herself in the running for Pan Ams. She wasn’t an option. Lee didn’t do AA and watered down BB so not surprised she was left out.

      The team will more than dominate the way it is. Finnegan has rapidly progressed this year, as has Eaker. It will be a good competition for them all.

  17. I want controversial teams, not boring AA standing teams that OBVIOUSLY don’t maximize scoring potential. This is the boring, vanilla, and honestly ineffective and obviously not beneficial (as we saw with Jr Worlds) way of picking teams. Last quad, the teams were basically chosen in advance but at least with reason. As much as I love Aleah, Sunisa definitely serves more of a purpose / compliments the strengths of the other all arounders better.

  18. Is USAG trying to save money by sending 1 coach with 3 GAGE gymnasts instead of considering paying for a coach with a specialist like Suni?

    1. I don’t think that was their objective, but I’m sure they’re not mad at it!

  19. Interesting that you thought Grace came out of her mount too fast but then said Skinner hit it when she rolled straight through it with absolutely no hold of the candle position.

  20. Tim Dagget definitely hates Tom Forster.
    Their rivalry is so strong.
    Tim visibly looks frazzled when Tom
    joins the broadcasters.
    I’d love to know what Nastia thinks of Tom.

  21. Just an FYI Wong was mixed up with Eaker in the live blog above. Eaker’s bean was discussed twice , but second one should be Wong

  22. They may have picked Finnegan over Lee for the Pan Ams team because Finnegan showed a second vault and they’re looking for a gymnast who can medal in the vault final.

  23. Going by All around scores and inflating E Scores, the U.S. is shooting themselves on the foot. The solution to the cutthroat team selections of the past is not to go the complete opposite direction. I guess JR worlds was not enough proof of that, a major SR competition must serve as the learning curve.

  24. I don’t know why people are complaining about the Pan Americas team as too weak, boring, and inefficient. In the Martha era, that was considered an assignment for the second or even third tier of gymnasts. Clearly McCusker, Hurd, Eaker, and Wong are all capable of making a Worlds team and are not low to mid-tier gymnasts in need of a consolation prize. I would say this team is stronger than usual for Pan Ams. Also, if making the strongest team possible for that competition was a priority, then Simone would be assigned to that team.

  25. Spencer, I appreciate your ongoing crusade against team assembly by results. As a person who also sometimes lacks feelings I am fully supportive of the numbers and the strategy.

    That being said, I don’t think the outcome in this case is especially imbalanced. UB and BB are covered just fine and it’ll give Finnegan an opportunity to get international experience.

    It’s a big jump going from the Marta era to what it is now, so I think it feels even more whiplashy than it would under normal circumstances. I think we can collectively afford to take a chilling pill or two for the moment.

    1. Agreed on the need to calm down and take multiple big-picture considerations into account (and not just one day of competition scores). Finnegan and Wong could benefit from additional senior international competitions for experience. Hurd, McCusker, and Eaker already have experience and can handle routines on all four events if necessary. With the lack of emphasis on Jesolo and no Pac Rims this year, Pan Ams receives additional importance as the testing ground for international team competition. Besides, once the Olympics comes in, the All Around is going to be even more emphasized and people have to be prepared for a potential outcome like this.

    2. Agreed on the need to calm down and take multiple big-picture considerations into account (and not just one day of competition scores). Finnegan and Wong could benefit from additional senior international competitions for experience. Hurd, McCusker, and Eaker already have experience and can handle routines on all four events if necessary. With the lack of emphasis on Jesolo and no Pac Rims this year, Pan Ams receives additional importance as the testing ground for international team competition. Besides, once the Olympics comes in, the All Around is going to be even more emphasized and people have to be prepared for a potential outcome like this.

      1. Your point about how AA will play into the composition of the Olympics team is a very good one!

    3. I was also upset by naming the team based on AA results initially, as I thought there was a case to name Lee for bars over Finnegan. But now that I know that Lee has been injured, it really doesn’t make sense to send her to Pan Ams (and I’m surprised she even put herself in contention) and it seems like her time would be better spent bringing back a beam dismount and getting floor and vault back. So then we are left with a choice between Jones and Finnegan (I don’t think Blakely made a strong enough case for herself). I personally would probably pick Jones for her slightly stronger vault but it’s not a big enough difference that I can really get that worked up about it. Also, Jones at least has last year’s Pan Ams experience and this means that Finnegan gets some international experience.

      That said, I agree with the overall point that we shouldn’t just go with AA standings and I hope we don’t continue to see this as a trend.

  26. If Lee has shown only two events and nationals is like two weeks away, it makes sense to leave her off, right? If she does Pan Ams there’s literally no time to be training the other two events to be prepared for nationals otherwise.

    My bigger problem is the super overinflated scores. Every country seems to do it at home meets, but I don’t get why. Then you have no idea how you will compare or what your actual scores will be on an international stage. Like Morgan for example- she always does okay on beam at home and then goes and gets like 12.8 internationally- don’t we want to know that for selection?

    1. Doesn’t everyone get hosed internationally on beam? Morgan has a world silver, so.. she’s probably okay as far as expectations.

      They seem to inflate scores unevenly at US meets. Skinner and Raisman used to score the same or better internationally, while others get a bump at home that doesn’t carry over to Worlds.

      1. I agree (I’m the same Anon as above). I wasn’t calling out Hurd specifically, just using her as an example. I think it’s safe to say that McCusker won’t be getting 15.1’s either. But because, as you said, the inflation is uneven, isn’t that even more confusing to understand how they’d look internationally? Just another reason not to inflate any scores at home.

    2. The inflated home scores in elite meets are for the fans/crowd. It’s similar to NCAA home meets when the host team receives scores that has the gymternet scratching its head and calling it out.

      10s in NCAA make the fans happy. In elite when the top, most recognizable gymnasts receive huge scores it brings excitement.

      1. These girls work too hard to have someone fake their scores. It delegitimizes the sport.

    3. I don’t find that Morgan’s scores are really held up much at all domestically. Her international and domestic scores are very much within a normal range. Her highest domestic all around score is maybe about a half a point higher than her highest international one. It’s Riley that’s really held up at home. She basically got a 58 here when she has never even hit 55 internationally.

      1. I don’t think that it’s that Riley is held up domestically, it’s more that she hits domestically but hasn’t come through internationally so far the same way. I guess we’ll see if Pan Ams continues or breaks the pattern.

        (And for the record, Riley did break 55 internationally at Jesolo in 2017, where she scored 56.6 and won. With a fall. Athletes she beat there included Andrade, Saraiva, Hurd, Melnikova, Eremina, and De Jesus Dos Santos. I’d say the international judges like Riley just fine but she needs to deliver.)

  27. I also don’t get how McCallum gets such high E-scores. She looked great (I loved her DTY) and I think she can improve, but she was so overscored in this meet.

    1. Yeah I like McCallum but her E scores on bars and floor seemed generous.

  28. Skinner didn’t have a perfect meet by any means, but showed amazing potential for only just coming back to elite. Likewise, Trinity looked as polished and elite-ready as she’s ever been.

    Skinner debuting an Amanar in her very first competition back should turn some heads as should her extreme difficulty on floor. If Skinner wanted to and was permitted by USA gymnastics, she could rival Jade’s vault performances at the world cups. To return to that high of a level in such a short time is pretty astonishing. And for Trinity to not even look like she’s one day out of elite training is unbelievable.

    I would seriously not discount these two young women. There is amazing potential in both.

    1. Ooh yes, extreme difficulty on floor like ending with a back tuck. Very impressive.

    2. There’s definitely a difference between NCAA and elite, and both Skinner and Thomas do look quite good, but people are making it sound like Skinner came back from the dead in three months to do an Amanar.

      Like… Skinner has been training. She may have been retired from elite but she wasn’t retired from gymnastics. She’s at an advantage to everyone who is coming back from injury or even the 2012ers who took time entirely out of the gym for money-making things.

      If you’re looking for a shockingly fast comeback, you should look at Biles, who actually didn’t step foot in a gym and then got all her skills back incredibly quickly.

      1. Yes, this, a thousand times. So sick of people saying Skinner has only been training for a couple months. She has been in the gym the whole time.

  29. I was trying to come up with a Worlds team based solely on scores at this meet, like who would be your three best on each apparatus. Then I threw down my pen and paper because these scores were so cracky they are meaningless. Nobody is getting 8.6 E scores on beam internationally! Did Carol crash this meet?

    1. I think my biggest problem with the crackiness of this meet is it wasn’t even consistently cracky. It would be one thing if it was consistently high but this was just all over the place. Floor in particular seemed out of whack. McCusker won the E score even though she had a decent size landing deduction on her first pass and a low chest on her second pass. This was over Biles and Eaker who had only very minor landing deductions and good execution across the board. McCallum came within 0.1 of Eaker and 0.05 of Biles in spite of that very short landing on the first pass with chest down and large step forward plus I would say McCallum’s overall execution is not as strong. Wong had big landing issues on two passes and a squat on another pass (which she sort of covered into the leap) but still came within .2 of Biles and .25 of Eaker.

      Jade Carey seemed to be marked much more harshly than others. Her floor was messy but I wouldn’t say more so than McCallum’s and it got a lower E score. And somehow her stuck Cheng got the same score as Skinner’s messy Amanar in spite of being more difficult and better executed.

  30. So i don’t know if anyone paid attention to what simone says at the meet ending interview on Olympic channel: : “we’ll see what happen on vt, maybe some upgrade.” is that another word for TTY? That would be freaking crazy to have 2 new upgrades in 1 yr: a triple double and a TTY.

    Myabe she can make it a 3 with also double double of the beam?

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